As the season reaches its midpoint for the Keene State College Women’s Lacrosse team, they look to build momentum off their first win of the season on Saturday, March 28.
Players said that, after that first win, expectations to keep up that type of play are high.
Katie Arsenault, head coach of the team, said, “I think it was good to see a conference win, what it was like to play in conference and fight until the end for that.”
Arsenault explained that for continued success everyone needs to understand their roles on the team.
Arsenault continued, “You know if one person has a bad game, it’s not just one person has a bad [game]. If one person is playing eighty-five percent then everyone is playing eighty-five percent.”
She explained that everyone has to bring the best game they possibly can and described that as “contagious” throughout the entire team.
According to KSC junior Natalie Barnett, “We’re still working on ourselves as a team and we all really want to be able to leave a game feeling satisfied that we played a full sixty minutes.”
She noted that there isn’t much to specifically change because there is always room for improvement and growth.
Along with Barnett, KSC Junior Kaitlin Nolan said the team needs to keep positive attitudes on and off the field.
Nolan stated, “We know our record does not define us as a team so we need to continue working hard to prove to ourselves and to others what our team is capable of.”
She continued, “When we work together, as a unit, there is no stopping us.”
With a new year comes a new roster and team dynamic.
Coach Arsenault said the team is younger than the previous year, but there is a good amount of young talent with this new class of players.
She continued to say that it’s just a matter of time before all of the players click.
In regard to this clicking, she stated, “They’ve known that since day one, when they click they’ll know and they’ll start to be effective. It’s just taking a lot longer.”
Arsenault added, “Now we got to push through and learn from each game and get better hopefully.”
She continued, “Now we’re at a point where things are starting to click, it’s a good time for it.”
Furthermore, Nolan agreed with Coach Arsenault about the good change in team dynamic in terms of talent.
“We have a very young and talented team and a lot of our preseason was focused on finding out how one another plays and then coming together as a team to find success,” Nolan said.
Barnett added to this, “Although we lost a lot of good players, that gives chances to other players to step up and make a difference on the team.”
At the beginning of the season, this team was one of the many spring teams affected by the weather.
Arsenault said, “It was hard because we were in the gym, so our conditioning was off, our transitioning was off and our total full-field effect was totally non-existent.”
She did explain that from being inside they were able to breakdown fundamental concepts and technical ideas.
She stated how it was difficult to share the gym with all the other teams, so it was difficult to get the adequate amount of preparation in.
In addition, Barnett said, “It was difficult in the beginning of the season to be starting our preseason in the gym but we just kept saying to ourselves, every team has to do this, so we can do this too.”
Arsenault continued, “It’s nice now that we’re out there at practice getting to do stuff and practice using the full field and stuff like that.”
She continued, “I do think it set us back a little bit.”
As the season moves into the conference play, Arsenault added, “It’s really about playing our game rather than playing down to others.”
She noted how it is important to understand know that they are a good team in the conference and that they must go out and believe that.
“That’s what the season is for really, testing you and getting you ready for conference play,” she stated.
Along with Arsenault, Nolan, in agreement said, “The key is to play our game regardless of the predicted outcome.”
As for expectations the rest of the season, Barnett said, “I know that if we put our minds and hearts in to it, and we play a full sixty minutes, that we will be able to come out as a strong team.”
Jeff Lunn can be contacted at email@example.com